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ruckus fires once, then won't fire

 
Old 11-18-2017, 05:54 PM
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Default ruckus fires once, then won't fire

I have a 2014 ruckus that had bad gas and a bad fuel pump. Cleaned the carb, replaced fuel pump and filter, new gas.

Now, when I try to start it, it'll fire up just once, run for a second, then die. Subsequent tries, it'll turn over but won't fire at all. Even with starting spray, it turns over but won't fire up at all. Let it sit for maybe 10 minutes and it'll fire up again and run for just a second. Rinse and repeat. I'm in a warm climate, so maybe auto-choke is killing it?
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Did you change the plug? You already cleaned the carb, and put fresh gas in it. Who knows how long it sat?
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

It sat for a good year or so. We are getting a spark, but we ordered a spark plug which will come in on Monday. (They didn't have any in stock).
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

I put in a new spark plug and the results are the same. It'll fire up, but just for a second, then it dies, and after that, it won't even fire unless it sits for 10 minutes or so. It'll turn over, but it doesn't sound like it's trying to fire at all unless it sits for a while, then it'll fire up again but dies after just a second.

Spraying starting fluid into the carb mouth or into the spark plug hole doesn't change this at all, which seems to imply to me that it's not carb or fuel related. If it's not the spark plug, maybe it's the coil having problems.

Oh, we checked the valve clearance too now and they look good. And, we removed the choke and just blocked off that hole to see if that would change the results any, which it did not.

Aside from possibly the coil, I'm at a loss as to even what else could be the problem. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Fuel, Air, Ignition, where are you lacking?

Have you done a spark test to verify spark is good?
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

That's what I can't seem to figure out. Fuel is new, it's getting air. It is getting a spark, but I replaced the spark plug anyway just in case the old spark plug had too weak of a spark. New plug has same results as the old. I don't have any way (or the knowledge) to measure the intensity of the spark at the plug or to measure whether or not the coil is producing a weak spark, as far as I know. Is there any way to do that?
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Amazon Amazon


Spark plug tester.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Thanks. I was thinking there might be some way to test it with a volt meter. I didn't know they made a spark plug tester like this so didn't even think to look. A new coil isn't much more though.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

I got a spark plug tester and I'm getting good spark. Gal at the honda shop said if I'm getting spark then the coil is not my problem. Still can't get it to run though. I talked to a parts counter guy at the Honda Shop and he said it sounded like my CDI was the problem. Is there any way to test that?
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

So I'm getting new, or different, results now after tinkering with it a bit. When I first turn the key to on, I hear the fuel pump click for about 8 seconds and then it stops. When I have this disconnected from the carb I can see it pump gas during that time and then it stops. If I put my finger tightly over the hose, it stops clicking and pumping. But if I just keep turning the key to on, wait for the clicking to stop, and then off and back on again, it clicks for about 8 seconds every time. I would think that the bowl would fill up and stop it from clicking, but it doesn't seem to. However, after I've done that a half-dozen times or more, when I hit the start button, it fires right up, for a second or 2, and then dies. Then it won't start again until I repeat the above procedure, turning the key to on, wait for the clicking to stop, then off and back on again, for another half-dozen times or so. If I don't do that, it won't fire at all, but when I do that, it fires up very consistently for only a second or so.

Any ideas what is going on here? Seems like that rules out the spark plug and things like the CDI?

Last edited by biker jim; 02-28-2018 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Hrmm..don't want to suggest shotgunning a diagnosis but it seems like you have a fuel pump related issue.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Maybe you could test this out by using an elevated gas tank and seeing if it will run for longer than the fuel bowl capacity.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

That was exactly my thinking and plan this weekend. The fuel pump is brand new but it sure seems suspicious. I need to get another piece of hose and a clamp and then I'll test with an elevated fuel source.

If that doesn't work, maybe I need to trade it for a jet ski.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

It's always a good idea to have a jet ski as a backup!

Oh one other thing, are you sure your fuel petcock is 'on'? I recently went through a no fuel problem and it was the simplest solution to my complicated problem
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Mine has a similar issue. I gave it to my mechanic (I have a rental business but it's a 3rd world toilet of a country and the work is unreliable) and he changed the plug and said he'd cleaned the carb. After that, it ran fine for a few days then got harder and harder to start until it just chugs over on the button for ages, especially when cold.
I just did it myself. The carb had never been opened so I cleaned it out. It was pretty tidy actually. I put it back on and found a hose out to the left that hadn't been connected. After all that, it started and ran flawlessly... for 2 days.
Same old story. It's like the auto-choke is packing in and just won't operate.
I really like this sorry little bike but Honda have massively over-complicated it to the point where it's not at all fun to work on or diagnose. I'm not read to give up on it yet. Any thoughts? Pump is new... clicks and works and everything else it fine. It just doesn't like starting and quickly shrugs off any work done to it.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

I spent a fun few hours chewing the end of my fingertips off inside the seething mess of wiring, hoses and tubes that form the inner workings of my not-working Ruckus. I found a hose had come loose at the bottom left of the carb (mine is an older model.) She still didn't want to play nice. I got her started, hunting up and down and struggled to keep on even revs. I found that my mechanic (he's now left) had installed a PCX125 spark plug. I got it all running, not smoothly but she ran till the fuel stopped feeding.
She's in bits now until I can get the plug.
I also found that the airbox has deformed internally and is no longer making a good seal. It looks like it got very hot at some point.
This is definitely going to be a long-term project!
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

The gravity feed fuel source didn't get me very far. It actually didn't appear that gravity was enough pressure to push fuel into the carb... not sure if that means maybe there's still gunk in the carb restricting fuel or if my setup was just too flawed to really work. I did notice that the fuel pump does still pump fuel while the start button is being pushed, so I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's that there's still some junk in the carb someplace restricting fuel from getting in.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Normally, the engine sucks the fuel in. My carb has two electrical inputs, one must be auto-choke, the other is a throttle position sensor, I think, which must control fuel delivery from the pump. Even so, the float system is full so it does work by using the suction from the engine... I think. However, it's difficult because it does seem to be a weird hybrid of late carb design and early EFI.
This is why it's all so confusing. I'm getting fuel, I've got air and I'm getting a spark. It should run, and sometimes it does. I've got it running now but the fuel tank is low and my guess is the pump can't draw any more up, also the battery is now almost flat, which doesn't help.
In your case, Jim, I doubt it's a blockage in the carb but if you had a bad batch of fuel, it's definitely worth checking. I stripped mine down and cleaned everything back to new with a dremel and soft wire brush. It worked brilliantly, for two days.
Do you even have a carb? Isn't the later model fuel-injected? If that's true, and assuming your injector is in good order, it should be much easier to work on... or maybe not. Possibly... Perhaps...
I like this little bike a lot but it's horribly over-complicated.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Mine does have a carb (it's a 2014 ruckus), and we took it apart and cleaned it probably a half-dozen times. We don't have a tank to soak the parts in so we were just using some carb cleaner and a soft wire brush, but we did have some trouble really getting some of the gummyness out of the idle jet. I bought a new set of jets off amazon, which were supposed to be compatible, but they actually don't fit. I've been debating whether I should just take the carb off and take it in and have somebody really go to town on it. Early on though we were spraying starter fluid into it and that wasn't getting it to fire either, which made us think it wasn't carb related.

I like this little bike a lot too, but I agree, it should be WAY more reliable and WAY less complicated. It ran great, until it didn't, and then from that point on, it's been a giant pain in the *** to even figure out what the heck the problem is.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Mine didn't need much, luckily. I cleaned it out with a piece of electrical wire with the cores stripped out and turned into a little brush. Even then, I have to say it was already pretty decent. One thing about Cambodia, the petrol quality is good. Maybe you could put the bits into a little jar and soak them in white-spirit and then wash them over in petrol? If you've got a half-decent budget, soak the jets in Redex carb-cleaner.
2014 is late in the game to be fitting carbs, I'm actually surprised. I bought this off a mate and he was so obsessed with it, he went and got another with EFI. I'm not sure the year but it's a late one.
My thinking is to look into carb swaps. I see 'upgrade' options for $100 and if they get rid of some of the complications then that's money well spent to me. My airbox is knackered too so upgrading it to a foam filter might be the way to go there too.
For all the complications though, I like the bike a lot. It deals with the terrible roads really well.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

I paid my mechanic to clean the carb and change the spark-plug. No great surprise to find I was ripped off. I generally trusted him but he lost the plot towards the end, became an alcoholic and vanished to collect bottles at the side of the road.
Anyway, the bike was fine for a few days and then slowly got worse. I pulled her apart myself. It turned out she had a filthy old spark-plug from a PCX125 in her, I swapped it out for the correct one and now, she's been starting and running properly for several weeks.
At the moment, she's my usual daily runner. I'm going to drop some cash on her at some point and make her my own and get her looking tidy. Very happy with this silly little bike. I took it out last night to meet some mates. They all laughed at her and then, out of sympathy, someone paid for my drinks thinking I must be broke to be riding something like that.
Actually I have a BMW G650x with close to $10k of mods on her and a Honda XR650 at him, and 6 other scooters but this one is just the one I enjoy riding most for some reason.
Result!
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Did you ever figure out the problem? I am having the exact same issue. New pump. Cleaned carb. New plug and new jets. I can only get it to start for a few seconds. Any help is appreciated
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: ruckus fires once, then won't fire

Originally Posted by Chris Newby View Post
Did you ever figure out the problem? I am having the exact same issue. New pump. Cleaned carb. New plug and new jets. I can only get it to start for a few seconds. Any help is appreciated
No, I have not figured it out yet. I had to put it on hold for a bit, but right before I did, I made some discoveries. I ended up buying a 2nd fuel pump just to rule out that my first new fuel pump wasn't defective. It wasn't. I also thought maybe the float bowl wasn't filling up enough and that quick fire-up was using what little fuel was in the bowl, but that wasn't the case either. In the process of that though, I was able to get it to behave much more consistently, and it really seems more time related than anything else. I can get it to fire once, for just a second, and then if try to start it again within the next few minutes, it won't even fire. Turns over but clearly there's no magic happening. But, if I let it sit for long enough, about 7 minutes or so, it'll fire again very consistently. I'm not sure exactly how long that time span is, but it's about 7 minutes or so.... makes me wonder of there's something in the computer that resets after that amount of time?
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